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“After spending a trillion dollars on two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan, with so far questionable result, people will say, ‘Heck yeah.’ This is the only tool of foreign policy where we can see immediate, positive results,” he said.

Officials said Afghanistan has been a proving ground for both the military’s growing use of special-operations forces in raids against militants and for honing its counternetwork system.

Over the past year, the numbers of special-operations forces and commando raids against militants have surged in Afghanistan. Two strike forces have grown to 12, according to an intelligence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters.

“We’ve gone from 30 [to] 35 targeted operations a month in June 2009 now to about 1,000 a month,” said NATO spokeswoman Army Maj. Sunset Belinsky. “More than 80 percent result in capture, and more than 80 percent of the time, we capture a targeted individual or someone with a direct connection.”

The raids have often come at night, when civilians are indoors and U.S. night-vision equipment gives the American raiders the advantage in what military officials often describe as finding, fixing and finishing a target. The raids are aimed at capturing or killing militants, but despite the military’s emphasis on capturing suspects to bolster intelligence on the enemy, the killings have often attracted the most attention.

The night raids have been a source of constant complaint by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who calls them a violation of Afghan sovereignty. U.S. officials insist the night raids always have a small team of Afghan security forces in the lead. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the overall Afghan commander, now briefs Mr. Karzai on the raids almost weekly to reassure him, according to a senior U.S. official in Kabul, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss high-level conversations.